As the new variant of coronavirus known as “Omricon” raises concerns, Major vaccine manufacturers bring Hope.

 Leading vaccine manufacturers Pfizer and BioNtech said that they will be able to produce and distribute the updated version of the covid vaccine within just 100 Days if the new variant of the virus Omricon showed resistance to its current vaccines.

The New variant “Omricon”

Corona virus
Corona virus ©shutterstock

The World Health Organization(WHO) has called Omicron, previously known as B.1.1.529 a variant of concern, identifying it as the most threatening coronavirus variant. 

The new variant Omricon itself has about 50 mutants that might make it a lot easier to escape antibodies that developed in the body of a person after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine. 

The spread of this new variant is still in its early stages, and it’s not yet clear how severe infection would be to a vaccinated person.

It was detected first in South Africa. Since it has spread to many other countries, including Israel and Belgium. In response to the new variant, several nations of Europe, Asia, and North America have imposed travel restrictions across the countries.

Words of Hope

“We understand the concern of experts and have immediately initiated investigations on variant B.1.1.529,” the companies said.

Pfizer and BioNTech said they expect more data from lab tests in two weeks about the latest variant.

“These data will provide more information about whether B.1.1.529 could be an escape variant that may require an adjustment of our vaccine if the variant spreads globally,” The company added, 

They can adapt its mRNA vaccine within six weeks and start shipping batches within 100 days if an escape variant is identified.

Covid vaccine
Covid vaccine

Other vaccine manufacturers like Moderna and Johnson & Johnson are also preparing to fight against the new variant’s possible threat.

Recently Moderna said it plans to test a variant-specific booster if its current vaccine appears to be ineffective against the Omicron.

“From the beginning, we have said that as we seek to defeat the pandemic, we must be proactive as the virus evolves. The mutations in the Omicron variant are concerning and for several days, we have been moving as fast as possible to execute our strategy to address this variant,”

Moderna CEO Stéphane Bancel said in a press release.

Johnson & Johnson is also testing the effectiveness of its vaccine against the Omicron variant.

“We have all those tools that will work against any variant,” 

said Dr. Eric Topol, director of the Scripps Research Translational Institute in La Jolla, California.

All the expert bodies have stressed that vaccination remains critical, especially to protect groups at high risk of hospitalization and death.

Vaccination should remain a priority despite questions about effectiveness against the new variant Omicron because it is likely that they will remain protective to some extent.

Everyone should also continue to wear masks, avoid crowds, ventilate rooms, and wash hands. 

Let’s hope to hear more good news.

News appeared at CNBC

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